When young people called out for something to do on Friday nights, partner agencies heard them loud and clear!
They launched evening activities in Hawthorn Youth Centre that were so successful, they are set to become a permanent feature.
Hugely popular and great fun, the sessions have also led to a dramatic reduction in the number of anti-social behaviour incidents in the area.
They are also further proof of what is being achieved, across the County Borough, as partners such as the Council’s Services for Young People, schools, South Wales Police, Valleys Kids, Communities First and a variety of other providers come together to ensure they are delivering the best-possible service for young people.
Previously, organisations worked in isolation, with many different, individual schemes and activities on offer for young people.
However, this has all changed and they have come together as youth operational groups, with one for each secondary school in Rhondda Cynon Taf and its feeder primaries.
They meet regularly to discuss identified needs, gaps in provision and more to ensure young people have access to the services they need to grow, develop and thrive.
By joining forces to share resources they are able to offer extensive programmes of activities, from sessions such as the drop in to sports clubs, days out, activity trips and more.
The drop in session in Hawthorn was held every Friday night on a pilot basis, offering beauty sessions, pool, football, board games, arts, crafts and a chill out zone.
Before the pilot was launched, there had been 84 reports of anti-social behaviour in the Rhydyfelin ward for the previous month alone. This has fallen by a massive 76 per cent.
As a result, the cluster youth operational group is now working together, to ensure Friday night sessions become a permanent provision for the benefit of the young people.
Cllr Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said: “We continue to improve the way services for young people are delivered so they, and the wider community feel the benefit.
“Operational groups are now in place in each secondary school cluster in the County Borough, enabling everyone who has a part to play in providing youth services to come together and deliver, jointly, extensive and exciting provision.
“This includes E3+, detached youth workers, summer holiday programme, days out, sport and more. Importantly, services are shaped by young people themselves, via the groundbreaking Viewpoint survey.
“Now in its second volume, Viewpoint involved 9,000 pupils across Rhondda Cynon Taf, asking them about the issues that affect them the most, from bullying and sexual health to careers and how they want to spend their free time. The responses are used to directly shape service delivery.”
For more information on Services for Young People, please contact 01443 744000